27 September at 10:00AM
Member of the Month: Edward Johnson
Introducing PMIT’s Member of the Month
Edward Johnson has been volunteering with the PMI Toronto Chapter for several years as the Lead for the Career Accelerator Program. Many of our volunteers have been through the mentoring program as either a mentor or a mentee. For those who have either worked closely with Edward or were a part of the mentoring program all would agree that his dedication and passion for mentorship is beyond all measure. Edward’s leadership, guidance, and support are all benefits to joining the mentoring program. He is always willing to answer a question and brainstorm through a problem. I have been fortunate enough to have seen first-hand Edward’s passion for the mentor program, having been through the Career Accelerator program last Fall. Speaking as a past mentee, it is a great experience for anyone looking to set some new career goals and learn from a project management expert. Edward’s work for the Chapter has not gone unnoticed and we thank him for his continued focus. Please help me in congratulating Edward Johnson on a very well-deserved recognition.
Finding Your Inner Yoda: Becoming a Mentor
I was speaking to Edward recently about mentorship and he explained that “mentorship is a way to build your network, enhance your leadership skills but it is a relationship that is built over time.” Mentors help mentees use their resources and provide a different perspective that they may not consider but every mentor was a mentee once.
Edward was lucky enough to find three mentors throughout his life and career and even years later he keeps those relationships going. In his early career, he had a manager who ran the team so well because he got to know his team and treated people like individuals and made a point to find out what their motivations were. It was an early lesson, but one Edward uses to this day. Later he met a recruitment agent who had an excellent memory and always noted key points of every conversation she had including Edward. He credits this mentor for recalling their talks and encouraging him toward a new career path. Finally, his last mentor was a former colleague who had a way of guiding you to think in new directions without pushing his own beliefs onto you. Edward fondly recalls several conversations about AI that left a lasting impression and greatly appreciates those discussions.
A Career In AI
Edward has over 25 years working in countries like Canada, Europe, USA, and Asia in both corporate and start-up companies. He holds several degrees and certifications including a Chemical Engineering and Business BSc, a Post Graduate business diploma, a PMP, and he is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). He is considering the advantages of the PMI Disciplined Agile Scum Master (DASM).
Obtaining his PMP while living and working in Switzerland opened many networking opportunities when making his move to Canada with his family. As he explains, “the biggest benefit of having a PMP is the overall structured approach which can be applied to all many projects even in new technology. Nothing gets forgotten from the Project Charter until the Lessons Learned.” Edward joined PMI Toronto shortly after immigrating to Canada.
Currently, Edward is a consultant focused on project and product management for AI, fintech, and blockchain mandates. Edwards says, “My niche is the space between new technologies and business. I use my background and experience at all levels of financial services technology and leadership combined with my PMP to also run the Career Accelerator Program.”
Having worked on several projects over the years Edward feels that he has learned so many big lessons throughout his career. He has learned a couple of invaluable lessons along the way:
Firstly, continually assessing and managing project stakeholders. It is the most important aspect because stakeholders can make or break a project in intangible ways. Secondly, a personal mantra of mine is to not use the word ‘resource’ when referring to project team members. People are more than simple dots on a spreadsheet or project plan.
Career Accelerator Program
Edward leads the Career Accelerator Program at PMI Toronto. It is “our 100% focus to be the best career mentoring program for project managers in the GTA. Our team is very much hands-on and I personally present, speak, and mentor at our events, lead the strategic aspects to grow the program, and promote the program both inside and outside of PMI Toronto. I am very passionate about people improving their careers and believe that mentorship is an integral part of leadership development.”
It is clear that Edward is dedicated to making the mentoring program a continued success. To him, success means “ changing the world on an ongoing basis, even if it is one person at a time.”
More About Edward
Edward is curious, has great drive and true grit. He also enjoys being outdoors during every season and walking the family’s Siberian Husky, Lula. Being outside is a great way of clearing the mind and preparing for the business day.
Inspirational Quote: “Treat people as individuals and understand their motivations before judgement”.
Work Passions: I enjoy interacting with people and helping them improve along their career journey while we work. I love new technologies and how we can take the wisdom and good aspects of old technologies and systems to make new technologies even better. I am also aware and very passionate about the new non-tangibles, the ethics of AI systems, development and data management. Every aspect of building AI products, the use of data, and even the project management processes needs understanding of the ethical consequences and decisions to be taken.
Personal Passions: I enjoy researching ancient Jamaican recipes. I recreate about three authentic dishes per year for family and friends and have done so for the last ten years. I also enjoy watching baseball and soccer and getting involved with the supporter groups and the data analytics. My family and I enjoy travelling, and enjoying good local foods wherever we go. I am quite a visual person and have recently revisited my love of photography which is always leading to a good excuse to explore my locality.
Here are some of Edward’s incredible photos with his insights.
Nominate a Fellow Volunteer
We are always looking for ways to showcase our dedicated and invaluable volunteers. Take some time and nominate a fellow PMI Toronto Chapter volunteer to be featured in our monthly Member of the Month series. Please send your nominations to email@example.com.